Professor Kathy Ann Mills

Professorial Future Fellow, Australian Research Council
Literacies and Digital Cultures

Kathy Ann Mills

Areas of expertise: multimodality and multiliteracies; sensory literacies; digital and media practices; writing and literacies pedagogies; socio-cultural, socio-spatial, and socio-material literacy research; critical theory; big data, digital data, and online data

HDR Supervisor accreditation status: Full

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1140-3545

Phone: +617 3861 6234


Location: ACU Brisbane Campus

Kathy A. Mills is a Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures at the Institute for Learning Science and Teacher Education (ILSTE), ACU, Brisbane. Her leading research examines gaps in current knowledge and educational uses of digital media and literacy practices, extending theories of multimodality, multiliteracies, New Literacy Studies, sensory studies, embodiment, and critical literacy. Mills has published over 100 academic works, including award-winning books.

Professor Mills has won five Australian Research Council grants (category 1), including three as a named Fellow, with total category one grant income to date of $2.76 million + industry partner in-kind. Professor Mills currently holds the only Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship won in education in the world, to develop multimodal literacy learning through the senses in primary education nationally and internationally (FT18010009; 2019-2024). She is simultaneously a chief investigator of an ARC Discovery grant, Coding Animated Narratives as Contemporary Multimodal Authorship in Schools (DP190100228) and is also an international PI researching critical digital literacies with USN, Norway (NRC).

She has published in high quality journals including Review of Educational Research, Learning, Media and Technology, The Sociological Review, Journal of Second Language Writing, and Teaching and Teacher Education. Her sole-authored 2016 monograph, Literacy Theories for the Digital Age, won the Literacy Research Association's 2016 Edward Fry Book Award, USA. Her lead edited Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures won the 2017 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies, USA.

Professor Mills serves on the Editorial Review Board of Qualitative Research (UK), Journal of Literacy Research (Arizona), Written Communication (USA), Language Education (UK), English Teaching Practice and Critique (NZ), and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. She has contributed to public debate on literacy through national radio, TV, news media and social media, and assesses research grants in Australia and internationally.

Curriculum vitae

Select publications

Authored Books
  • Veum, A., Mills, K.A. et al., (2024 in press). Critical Literacy for Digital Times, Scandinavian University Press.
  • Mills, K.A., Unsworth, L., & Scholes, L. (2022). Literacy for Digital Futures: Mind, Body, Text. Routledge.
  • Mills, K.A. (2019). Big Data for Qualitative Research. Routledge.
  • Mills, K. A., Stornaiuolo, A., Smith, A., & Pandya, J. (2018). Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures. Routledge.
  • Mills, K. A. (2016). Literacy Theories for the Digital Age: Social, Critical, Multimodal, Spatial, Socio-material & Sensory lenses. Multilingual Matters.
  • Mills, K.A. (2010). The Multiliteracies Classroom. Multilingual Matters.
Edited Books
  • Mills, K. A., Stornaiuolo, A., Smith, A., & Pandya, J. (2018). Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures. Routledge.
Journal articles
  • Gutierrez, A., Mills, K.A., Luke, R., Scholes, L., & Pink, E. (2023). What do secondary teachers think about video games for learning: Stupid fixation or the future of education? Teaching and Teacher Education. Access
  • Baker, B., Mills, K.A., McDonald, P., & Wang, L. AI, (2023). Concepts of Intelligence, and Chatbots: The "Figure of Man," the Rise of Emotion, and Future Visions of Education. Teachers College Record. Online first: Access
  • Mills, K.A., & Brown, A. (2023). Smart glasses for 3D multimodal composition. Learning, Media and Technology. Online first: DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2023.2207142 Open Access
  • Mills, K.A. (in press, 2023). Critical Literacy and social media in the second machine age. Critical Literacy in Teaching L1, Danish Journal of Knowledge about Literacy, vol 34.
  • Moro, C., Mills, K.A., Phelps, C., & Birt, J. (2023). The Triple-S framework: Ensuring Scalable, Sustainable, and Serviceable practices in technology. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. Open Access
  • Mills, K.A., Doyle, K. & Friend, L. (2023). Multimodal language rights and Indigenous totemic identity. Language, Identity and Education, Online first: Open Access.
  • Scholes, L., Rowe, L, Mills, K.A., Gutierrez A. & Pink, E. (2022). Video gaming and digital competence among elementary school students. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-16 Doi: 10.1080/17439884.2022.2156537Open Access
  • Mills, K.A., Scholes, L. & Brown, A. (2022). Virtual reality and embodiment in multimodal meaning making. Written Communication 39(3), 1-35. Access
  • Mills, K.A. (2022). Potentials and challenges of extended reality technologies for language learning. Special Issue: Focus on Video Games and English Language Education/Designing Hybrid Learning Spaces. Anglistik 33(1), 147-163. Access
  • Hagen, A. & Mills, K.A. (2022). Rhythm in literary apps. Visual Communication. Access
  • Friend, L., Mills, K.A., & Lingard, B. (2022). Globalisation, cultural knowledges and sociomateriality in Middle Eastern education: How the global and local influence classroom practices? Globalisation, Societies and Education. Author Full Text.
  • Mills, K.A. & Brown, A. (2021). Immersive virtual reality for digital media making: Transmediation is key, Learning, Media and Technology. https://doi.10.1080/17439884.2021.1052428Open Access
  • Friend, L. & Mills, K.A. (2021). Towards a typology of touch in multisensory makerspaces. Learning, Media and Technology. Access
  • Scholes, L., Mills, K.A. & Wallace, E. (2021). Boys' gaming identities and opportunities for learning. Learning, Media and Technology. Access
  • Mills, K.A. & Stone, B. (2020). Multimodal attitude in digital composition: Appraisal in elementary English. Research in the Teaching of English, 55(1), 160-186.
  • Patulny, R, Mills, K.A. Bellocchi, A., Olsen, R., & McKenzie, J. (2020). The emotional tradeoff between meaningful and precarious work in new economies. Special Issue: Meaningful Work, Journal of Sociology, 56(3), 333-355.
  • Mills, K.A., Stone, B. G., Unsworth, L., & Friend, L. (2020). Multimodal Language of Attitude in Digital Composition. Written Communication, 37(2), 135-166. https://doi: 10.1177/0741088319897978
  • Unsworth, L., & Mills, K.A. (2020). English language teaching of attitude and emotion in digital multimodal composition. Journal of Second Language Writing, 47, 100712. https://doi: 10.1016/j.jslw.2020.100712


Accolades and awards

International awards
  • 2018 Divergent Award for Excellence 21st Century Literacies, Oklahoma State
  • Edward Fry Book Award 2016, "Literacy Theories for the Digital Age", Literacy Research Association, USA
  • Springer Journal (CSSE) 2016 Best Paper Award, AERA
National awards
  • ARC Future Fellowship: Developing interdisciplinary methods of sensory orchestration for multimodal literacy learning in primary education nationally and internationally (FT180100009). 2019-2024.
  • ARC DECRA Fellowship: Awarded 1 of 5 Discovery Early Career Research Awards nationally in education (DE140100047). 2014-2017.
  • ARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship: Awarded 1 of 2 ARC Australian Post-Doctoral (Industry) fellowships nationally in education in 2009 (LP150100030) 2009-2011.
University awards
  • Vice Chancellor's Staff Excellence Award 2020, Research & Partnerships, ACU
  • Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence 2016, QUT
  • Research Excellence Award (x3), 2011, 2013, 2018, QUT
  • Publication Achievement Award (x5), 2003, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2014, QUT & CHC
  • Teaching and Learning Award, 2012
  • Outstanding PhD Supervision Award, 2012
  • Outstanding Book Award - "The Multiliteracies Classroom", 2011, QUT

Appointments and affiliations

  • Professorial Future Fellow, Australian Research Council and Australian Catholic University (ACU), 2019-current
  • Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures, Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education, ACU, 2016-current
  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Australia, 2015-2016
  • Senior Research Fellow, Australian Research Council and QUT, 2014-2015
  • Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, QUT, Australia, 2012-2014
  • Lecturer, Faculty of Education, QUT, Australia, 2011-2012
  • Australian Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, ARC and QUT, Australia, 2009-2011
  • Sessional Lecturer, Christian Heritage College, 2000-2009
  • Primary Teacher and Head of Curriculum, Genesis Christian College, 1999-2001
  • Primary Teacher, 1995-1998, Nambour Christian College

Editorial roles

  • Australian Educational Researcher, 2014-2016

International journal review panel

  • Qualitative Research, 2021-current
  • Written Communication, 2020-current
  • English Teaching: Practice and Critique, New Zealand, 2016-current
  • Journal of Literacy Research, USA, 2014-current
  • Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Australia, 2014-current
  • The Reading Teacher, USA, 2011-2013

Grant agency review panel

  • Assessor, Australian Research Council, 2013-current
  • Assessor, Economic and Social Research Council (UK), 2020-current
  • Assessor, Czech Science Foundation, Czech Republic, 2012-current

Public engagement

  • Professor Mills engages in knowledge transfer via social media, radio broadcasts, online news, and television news.
  • Professor Mills' research findings (AJLL, G7#28) about high-stakes testing/NAPLAN led to invited national radio broadcasts on ABC (21/04/14), 5AA (14/08/14), 2SER radio (19/04/14), 4BC 116 News Talk (12/05/15) Melbourne's 3AW 693 (11/02/16), and on ABC TV (12/15/15).
  • Mills' DECRA findings on Indigenous multimodal literacy practices led to a radio interview with ABC's Speaking Out Indigenous program (14/01/15).
  • Research on large schools: Canberra Times (06/13), and Channel 9 TV News (25/10/2013).
  • Mills' media outreach also includes coverage in:
  • The Conversation: Technology and learning in the classroom: Six tips to get the balance right. February 19, 2019.
  • Radio Interviews: Open House; and ABC radio with Kat Feeney.
  • Planbook: How to Create a Connected Classroom: Tools, Boundaries and Considerations.
Invited Keynote Presentations 2023
  • Mills, K.A. The Future of the Digital Turn. Contemporary Humanism Digitality and Normativity in Informal and Formal Learning Contexts, Research Exchange Day. University of Rome Lumsa, February 22, Rome, Italy.
  • Mills, K.A. New Directions for Digital Literacy Practices, Digitality and Normativity in Informal and Formal Learning Contexts, Research Exchange Day, March 31, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany.
  • Mills, K.A. 3D Mixed Reality Multimodal and Digital Storytelling. ALEA Digital Synergy Symposium: Language, Literature and Literacy in a Digital Age, University of Southern Queensland, May 13, Springfield, QLD.
  • Mills, K.A. Making the most of your DECRA. Future Fellow invited keynote at ARC Official DECRA Fellow Induction. Australian Research Council. March 27, Canberra, ACT.
  • Mills, K.A. The Digital Turn in the New Literacy Studies. SIELL Conference, University Centre of Art, Architecture and Design (CUAAD), Universidad de Quadalajara. June 12, Mexico.
  • Mills, K.A. Smart Glasses for 3D Multimodal Design, Knowledge Lab and Research in Media Arts and Play, University College London, UK, June 28, 2023.
  • Mills, K.A. Using Mixed Reality for 3D Multimodal Design, Language Education Lecture Series. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, June 22, 2023.
  • Mills, K.A. Future Directions for Critical literacy. CritLit Research Symposium. University of South-Eastern Norway, Sept 23, Tonsberg, Norway.


Get in touch

Cathedral House
Level 4, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, Qld, 4000
(GPO Box 2587, Brisbane, Qld, 4001)

Connect with us

Chat to our team via social media.